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Goa against Mormugao Port Trust coal projects, India

Unprecedented public hearings by the people of Goa (82 hours over 8 days) against turning it into a coal corridor by systemic expansion of its Mormugao Port Trust and highway construction to import and transport coal.


The Mormugao Port was commissioned in 1888 in the current south Goa district of Goa in India. The port is a central government agency, under the Ministry of Shipping, Government of India, and the administration is under the Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) [1].

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Goa against Mormugao Port Trust coal projects, India
State or province:Goa
Location of conflict:Vasco da Gama town
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Coal extraction and processing
Ports and airport projects
Specific commodities:Coal
Project Details and Actors
Project details

There are three separate projects: the first is the proposed terminal capacity expansion of two berths (5A and 6A) run by Jindal’s South West Port Limited to double coal imports to 14 million tonnes. The second is capital dredging of approach channel by Mormugao Port which implies deepening of the approach channel and inner basin for capesize vessels (the largest dry cargo ships which are bulk carriers of coal, ore and other raw materials) by excavating, and the third is the redevelopment of two berths numbered 8 and 9 and the barge berth of MPT which have been contracted to Vedanta [13] [14].

Type of populationSemi-urban
Affected Population:150,000
Start of the conflict:01/01/2001
Company names or state enterprises:Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) from India
Jindal South West Holding Ltd from India
Vedanta from United Kingdom
Relevant government actors:Goa State Pollution Control Board, Union Shipping and Transport Ministry, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Mormugao Municipal Council, Two fishermen groups - Old Cross Fishing Canoe Owners Co-op Society and Baina Ramponkar & Fishing Canoe Owners Society
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Religious groups
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Other Environmental impacts
Other Environmental impactsCoal dust
Health ImpactsVisible: Other Health impacts
Other Health impactsNo health survey done for correct assessment, but many respiratory diseases related to coal dust, such as asthma, breathlessness etc.
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of livelihood
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Under negotiation
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Although during the public hearing of the cases for expansion of the MPT, people vehemently opposed it, the decision is still awaiting in 2017on the fate of these projects, and Goa´s future as a coal corridor.
The public hearing minutes will now be examined by the MoEF's Expert Appraisal Committee for infrastructure projects. They can decide to not recommend clearance to the project. Then it will land at the table of the environment minister himself, who can overrule the EAC's recommendation. So first level of outcome is that the government decides to not do the project in view of the public feedback.
It is only if they give the clearance and someone approaches the NGT or the High Court that the conflict's outcome would be in courts.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

NGT judgement of September 2016
[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[click to view]

[1] History of the Mormugao Port Trust
[click to view]

[2] Report about the problems of coal dust in the port town of Vasco due to coal dust from MPT
[click to view]

[3] Newspaper article about protest against MPT expansion
[click to view]

[4] Report on how during 2014 to 2016, many illegal steps were taken to push for the expansion of MPT projects to facilitate more coal imports
[click to view]

[5] Report on how there is more pressure to allow coal passage in Goa from the PMOs, without scientific clearances.
[click to view]

[6] Report about the public hearings
[click to view]

[7] Report about the public hearings opposing MPT expansion
[click to view]

[8] Report about the high school student asking for intergenerational equity
[click to view]

[9] Report on the Mormugao Municipal Council condemning MPT and in favour of the residents
[click to view]

[10] Coverage of MMC´s decision to oppose MPT expansion following the massive protest at the public hearing
[click to view]

[11] Report on local people questioning the EIAs
[click to view]

[12] Report about high school student questioning the MPT expansion in terms of intergenerational equity.
[click to view]

[13] Announcement of the three public hearing by the Goa State Pollution Control Board
[click to view]

[14] Vedanta wins the competitive bid to develop Mormugao Port, which is a Rs1145 crore project
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Nihar Gokhale and Brototi Roy
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:2818
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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